Warren Sapp appeared on the "Mully and Hanley" show this morning on WSCR (AM 670) and had some interesting insights into what Tommie Harris must do in order to make defensive end Julius Peppers as a effective as he can be.
The former Buccaneers defensive tackle who pioneered the "three-technique" tackle position that Harris now plays, said it was his job to keep the quarterback from stepping up in the pocket so former teammate Simeon Rice could come around the corner and get the sack. He thinks Harris should do the same for Peppers
"You have to work together," said Sapp, currently an NFL network analyst. "There might not be any glory in it. Pushing the pocket and making sure that the quarterback can't setup and get away from the rush but it definitely gets the job done for your defense. That's the thing I'm worried about with Tommie. There's no gratification in setting the stage but you have to set the stage. If you don't push the pocket and the quarterback is able to step up Julius's rush off the edge is null and void."
I don't always agree with this guy, just so you know. But he makes a good point here. The focus has been on how Peppers will draw double-teams, allowing Harris and other defensive linemen more opportunities. He's saying the opposite is true, at least in Tommie's case. It makes all the sense in the world.
Sapp isn't a big fan of Harris, who he says lacks "awareness" and compared to a "blind dog in a meat house."
"I never got in his corner," Sapp said. "He was never my guy. He was supposed to be this and he was supposed to be that and now he says he is healthy again so we'll see."